Local Government - Local authority income and expenditure by activity and item by 2003–2021
Local government: New Zealand has a system of local government administered by local authorities. Local authorities comprise city councils, district councils, regional councils, and unitary authorities. Unitary authorities are city and district councils that also perform the functions of a regional council. Local authorities all have elected boards called councils.
Local government funding: Councils are free to set their expenditure priorities and overall levels of expenditure. They receive income from many sources including rates, sales, and grants. Local government in New Zealand is not involved in the funding, administration, or management of education, social welfare, police, traffic control and enforcement, or urban fire services.
Roading: Includes maintenance of gravel and tar-sealed roadways, bridges, cycle lanes, verges, and footpaths.
Transportation: Includes bus and all other forms of passenger transport such as rail, trams and ferries, parking (including on-road and council-managed car parks), airports, and transport planning.
Water supply: Includes both drinking and non-drinking water supply, delivery networks and storage (such as reservoirs), irrigation and water treatment.
Wastewater: Includes sewerage network systems (including mains), sewage treatment (such as oxidation ponds), stormwater disposal (such as water run-off from roads, driveways, footpaths, and rooftops), culverts, and drains.
Solid waste/refuse: Includes the collection, recycling, recovery, and disposal of solid waste and refuse, landfill operations, street and roadside rubbish bins, recycling centres, reusable materials depots, and roadside recycling.
Environmental protection: Includes air and water quality measurement and education, land and soil management (soil conservation, erosion control, shelter belts, non-urban run-off), flood protection and river control, agricultural effluent monitoring, and pest management (such as opossum, rabbit, and invasive weed control).
Culture: Includes library facilities and materials (books, CDs, etc), museums and galleries (including historical and scientific preservation), and festivals and events.
Recreation and sport: Includes aquatic and sports facilities, zoological and botanical gardens, parks, reserves and playgrounds (such as bike and walking tracks, and parks and trails), and marine recreational facilities (such as berths, moorings, and access ways to water for sport and recreation activities).
Property: Includes social housing (such as housing programmes for low income earners and disadvantaged groups), community property (such as community halls, heritage sites, and camping grounds), council-owned property, commercial property (such as leased parking buildings and concert and cultural events facilities), and cemeteries and crematoria.
Emergency management: Includes emergency and disaster management (such as rural fire and civil defence services).
Planning and regulation: Includes building control (such as building consents, code compliance certification, and LIM reports (Land Information Memoranda), resource management (such as district and coastal policy and planning, city and town planning, and consent processing and hearings), animal control (such as dog registration, stock control, and trapping), environmental health (such as food and hairdressing premise regulation and licensing), health nuisance control (such as food poisoning investigations), liquor licensing, enforcement of council bylaws, and marine safety.
Community development: Includes community support (such as funding community organisations and projects), iwi liaison, social and research grants, community advocacy, and community safety (such as CCTV, street lighting, and emergency housing).
Economic development: Includes business and tourism promotion.
Governance: From 2009, includes financial matters related to the elected councils and community boards. Before 2009, governance is likely to have included governance, community development, economic development, council support services, and other activities.
Council support services: Include overheads for local authority administration, finance, IT, and HR functions as well as report preparation (such as annual reports and long-term council community plans).
Other activities: Include all activities undertaken by councils that are not included in the above categories.
INCOME FROM CURRENT OPERATIONS:
Rates: Include all forms of rates such as uniform annual general charges, water rates, and targeted rates. Rates collected on behalf of other local authorities (such as regional councils) are not included. Water sold by meter is included in sales and other operating income.
Regulatory income and petrol tax: Include fees, consents, fines, penalties (including rates penalties), and local and regional council petrol taxes.
Current grants, subsidies, and donations income: Include those from central government (such as roading and transport grants from NZTA) as well as those from all other sources for operational (current) use.
Interest income: Includes interest earned from interest bearing deposits, short and long-term investments, loans, and all other interest bearing investments.
Dividend income: Arises from council ownership of equity in CCO and other entities, and includes councils’ share of profits or losses from associates.
Sales and other operating income: Include income from admission charges, water sold by meter, rental income from properties, rubbish bag sales, and other miscellaneous operating income. Internal transfers and charges (such as overheads) are excluded.
EXPENDITURE ON CURRENT OPERATIONS:
Employee costs: Gross earnings of all paid employees in the authority. Overtime, sick and holiday pay, severance and redundancy payments, levies paid to the Accident Compensation Corporation, and employer contributions to superannuation schemes are all included.
Depreciation and amortisation: Depreciation on fixed assets includes depreciation on infrastructural assets, restricted assets, buildings, vehicles, other plant, machinery and office equipment, and all other types of fixed assets. Amortisation is charged on intangible assets, the most significant being computer software.
Current grants, subsidies, and donations expenditure: Include those that local authorities give to others for operational (current) use.
Interest expenditure: Includes interest on all loans and other interest bearing liabilities raised by councils.
Purchases and other operating expenditure: Include payments for expert advice and services (such as consultants, legal, and other experts), business and property insurance premium payments, rent, fuel, postage, repairs and maintenance, contracts for services, fringe benefit tax, and other purchases of goods and services.
For more information
Changes to data collection/processing
- General rates are not always allocated to activities by local authorities. Before 2009, attempts were made to allocate total rates across activities.
- Before 2009, current grants, subsidies, and donations was likely to have included some capital grants.
- Before 2009, governance was likely to have included governance, community development, economic development, council support services, and other activities.
Data provided by
Local Authority Financial Statistics: Income and expenditure by activity (Annual-Jun) 2021
How to find the data
Infoshare -> Government finance -> Local Authority Financial Statistics -> Local Authority Financial Statistics income and expenditure by activity (Annual-Jun).
Import & extraction details
From the dataset Local Authority Financial Statistics: Income and expenditure by activity (Annual-Jun) 2021, this data was extracted:
- Rows: 3-4,790
- Columns: 4-195
- Provided: 440,496 data points
Dataset originally released on:
May 25, 2022
Method of collection/Data provider
Stats NZ collect data on local authorities' finances in the Local Authority Census, a comprehensive and detailed questionnaire. For most local authorities, the requested data will be based on their audited financial accounts, supplemented by information from individual local authority annual reports and subsequent enquiries to councils.
Information collected from New Zealand museums are also included in this release as these data are covered in government finance statistics (local government).